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Stinky Cheese Man, part 3 - A little less than a happy high — LiveJournal
Stinky Cheese Man, part 3
Formaggio Kitchen's cheese and wine tasting, 11/14/04. This lineup will be offered again on 11/21/04, and that tasting will be the last until the new cheeses come in spring.

Cabri Chaput Brick - Quebec, Canada (raw goat): This is the name that FK kitchen uses for it, so your results may vary. It’s an interesting ash-covered chevre that on first taste reminded me almost of potatoes au gratin. It had kind of a yeasty and creamy taste that yielded to potato and then a grassy or clover finish. Apparently, as it ages and the moisture leaves the cheese, the root vegetable flavor and spiciness become more prevalent, giving flavors like onion and fennel. Ours was a young brick.
Wine: Chateau de la Terriere 2002 - Beaujolais, France (Beaujolais)
Snackage: Antiqua marinated mushrooms

Constant Bliss - Greensborough, VT, USA (cow, triple crème): An American cheese in the style of Chaource. The first thing I noticed was that it smelled like peas or some other bean, a theme that continued through the first taste. It was smooth, chewy, and had a flavor that reminded me a great deal of lentils. There was a bit of a tang at the finish, but just enough so you were aware.
Wine: Chateau La Croix - Fronsac, France (Bordeaux)
Beer recommendation: McNeill’s Firehouse Ale

Paglierino - Salerno, Italy (sheep): Robert emphasized the lemony flavor of this cheese when he introduced it, but the impression I got was of vanilla, especially when paired with the accompanying Confiture L’Ardeche Egalatine Jam (made with rhododendron). I also got a lot of evergreen flavor from underneath the smooth and surprisingly soft sheep milk taste.
Wine: Chianti, Isole e Oleana 2001 - Tuscany, Italy (Sangiovese)

Pioda di Santa Maria - Ornavasso, Italy (washed-rind goat): Another solid washed-rind offering, but not so brutal as a Vacherin or Stinking Bishop. The flavor is bready, reminding me almost of a good sourdough, and the rind carries a bit of grape and woody tinge. Overall, it’s not an overpowering cheese, but it is one that you will want to talk about.
Wine: Domaine Weinbach - Alsace, France (Riesling)
Snackage recommendations: chestnuts, prosciutto, brozalla, figs

Vermont Shepherd - Putney, VT, USA (aged sheep): A fair number of you will know this well. It’s an interesting cheese similar in style to cheeses from the Pyrenees which boasts a nutty and buttery flavor. With a chunk that has too much rind, the taste swings wildly to stone or perhaps dirt. Overall, it’s very good, but the edge of the wheel tastes a little too much like New England for my liking.
Wine: Chinon - (Cabre Franc)

Torta Mil Ovejas - Cacares, Spain (soft-ripened brined sheep): Just impressions here. It’s soft, and has fruity and earthy flavors. I got grape and pineapple along with a kind of mild pepper taste from it. Proved an interesting departure from the sheep cheeses to which I’m accustomed.
Wine: Arbois En Paradis 2002 - Jura, France (Chardonnay)
Snackage: Comice pears

For those in the know, there will be no Pont L'Eveque available in the States this year. The FDA targeted the cheese and has listed it as a listeria risk.
17 comments or Leave a comment
tigermilkdrunk From: tigermilkdrunk Date: November 17th, 2004 11:40 am (UTC) (Link)
You just made me so nostalgic for home (Southern Vermont, where McNeill and Major (of VT Shepherd) hail from). I never think of my neck of the woods as being an especially fancy place, food-wise, and I have this little twinge of pride whenever I hear about the work of someone I know being consumed outside state lines.
komos From: komos Date: November 17th, 2004 12:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
It wasn't too long ago that I was up there with a bunch of folks as part of a field trip organized by cayetana's sister. I'm very interested in the developing stories of the local artisinal producers. The traditions may not date back thousands of years, but I get the sense something special might be happening.
transcribe From: transcribe Date: November 17th, 2004 12:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh how i *love* a wine and cheese play-by-play.

i can't believe that about pont l'eveque!! sad news.

how was the bordeaux? what year was it? did you like it? and the chinon? i've only had 1 chinon and didn't care for it. i'm wondering if it's characteristically 1-dimensional and concentrated or just the one i've had. and the riesling??

the Paglierino sounds very tasty. i have to keep an eye out.

oh good times you must have had. good times...
komos From: komos Date: November 17th, 2004 12:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
As far as I'm concerned, the news about the Pont L'Eveque is just another piece in the ongoing shadow embargo this administration is pursuing against the French. There's nothing solid, nothing that you can point at, but there are weird things happening like customs holding up shipments for upwards of six months for no reason. While this isn't a horrible problem for something like sparkling water, it can positively ruin cheese. [/conspiracy theory]

The Bordeaux was a 2000, and pretty gentle. I liked it, but I think I prefer a bolder taste from a red. The only notes I have on it say that and "elegant." Go figure.

The Chinon seemed a little more complex than you're describing, but just a little. The overall impression was a sort of white pepper.

I generally don't care for Reislings, but this one wasn't so overwhelmingly sweet as most of the Germans I've had. I got a lot a caramel flavor with the fruit, and then just a touch of wood for good measure I will say that it worked very well with the cheese.

Let's start a shop.
Yes, I'm serious.
quislibet From: quislibet Date: November 17th, 2004 12:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
There was a Pont l'Evêque recalled for listeria recently; I noticed a sign about it when we were at the big supermarket recently.

That's just one maker, though. Are all Pont l'Evêques forbidden? I only saw one distributer on that list you linked to...

Incidentally, we picked up a couple bottles of a tasty Chinon a few weeks ago.
komos From: komos Date: November 17th, 2004 12:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

It's the bacteria.

The word from the buyers at FK is that the cheese is not coming in at all. I think the problem is twofold - first there was the listeria discovery, then there's the ongoing problem of distributors getting proper permits in place. Robert was saying that most of his suppliers (generally, not just French) are in the process of renewing their permits, and some of them have been running into some problems.
quislibet From: quislibet Date: November 17th, 2004 01:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: It's the bacteria.


Well, I will be in Boston for a conference in early January, and I will see if I can smuggle in some of the dairy abundance that surrounds me, and we can have a cheese party.
komos From: komos Date: November 17th, 2004 01:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooo... have you access to Gaperon?

Just don't get caught. I'd hate for you to be labeled a terr'st.
quislibet From: quislibet Date: November 17th, 2004 01:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not familiar with it, but conceivably. My easiest access is of course to Livarot, Pont l'Evêque, and AOC Camembert de Normandie.

Someone who travels worldwide for agriculture-related purpose assured me recently that one can, in fact, legally bring any cheese into the US for personal consumption. It sounds too good to be true, though. Nonetheless, I'll use the usual trick: if they ask about food, start slowly bringing out every single thing remotely edible ("...and I still have these pretzels from the airplane - is that okay?")
komos From: komos Date: November 17th, 2004 01:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think it's from a different region, but I've been curious since I first read about it. No worries, though... real Camembert and Pont L'Evêque will be treat enough, and I can't say enough about how much I lurve Livarot.

transcribe From: transcribe Date: November 17th, 2004 01:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks for the bordeaux info. you are confirming a suspicion i have that the 2000's have 'gone to sleep'. it's unfortunate but not uncommon, especially for bordeaux. they were drinking really well for the previous 2 years, but then went dormant. in 2006 or 7 i expect they'll wake up and be much more the type of red you are looking for. hoard now, drink later.

depends on the riesling because rieslings vary from *extremely* dry to very sweet. if you are forced to pick one up ever, grab an austrian riesling and you are more likely to get something highly structured with acid and heavy on the petrol/mineral flavors. steer away from 'kabinett' riesling (sweet).

i have no doubt the administration is persisting with its anti-french policy. i'll ask some friends who are wine reps to see what they've encountered with wine. interesting.

yes, we need a shop. we do.
komos From: komos Date: November 17th, 2004 02:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wish I had an appreciable fraction of your wine knowledge. My world would be filled with that much more deliciousness. F'rinstance the character of different rieslings (and forgive me... I'm plagued by typos today) had utterly escaped me before Sunday. Now I want to try more.

Ideas on location?
transcribe From: transcribe Date: November 17th, 2004 04:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
okay let's think about this...

obviously my contacts are in chicago, but if i eventually reestablish myself somewhere, i can regain all that. we'd have to pick a city that has some money in it, and one that isn't oversaturated with such places. i'd think somewhere in the northeast, but not NY. or, if we could find a pacific NW locale that experiences a slight boom, though it's harder because there's so many vineyards out there anyway. or even Austin. biut that's texas and south of the mason-dixon... hmmm.
komos From: komos Date: November 17th, 2004 07:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Still brainstorming, so bear with.

As yet I have no real contacts, and I'm a long way from the expertise I think I'll need to do it right. Still...

In the northeast, we'd probably have to let out New York and Boston (which is itself pretty well served.) Smaller communities possibly?

I've heard good things about Austin. Certain places in GA as well, but that holds similar problems.

As for the Pacific NW, it might be interesting going there and using the shop to promote an American terroire. Push the wines of the region, but do so alongside other artisinal goods being produced there as well.
transcribe From: transcribe Date: November 17th, 2004 08:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Still brainstorming, so bear with.

i spoke with cinemama tonight and she recommended Cambridge particularly. not yet, but soon, i think i could show Cambridge an angle of wine they aren't used to seeing.

as far as Pacific NW, i'd represent the local in a way they aren't used to (not everyone's a player just because they're local... only the very best and uncommon can play) and then hardcore, represent the old world and their modern trends which tend to be overlooked. we can do this...
komos From: komos Date: November 18th, 2004 05:55 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Still brainstorming, so bear with.

That's the sort of thing I'm talking about. Brilliant.

What's Chicago like?

And I know we can. For me, it's just a matter of getting past the crazy fear of doing something so radical.
transcribe From: transcribe Date: November 17th, 2004 08:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
p.s. i firmly believe that given time, we could school Austin.
17 comments or Leave a comment